President Obama has decided against releasing graphic death photos of Osama bin Laden. Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, says although the photos were taken to prove bin Laden’s death, they could incite violence and create a national security risk.
“Obviously there are some benefits to releasing the photograph and providing the certainty that what has been said happened – happened,” Braley said. “But, there are also very grave concerns about the potential impact of releasing those photographs on our men and women in uniform who are serving overseas in harm’s way.”
Bin Laden was shot in the head by U.S. forces during a raid in Pakistan on Sunday. In an interview for this Sunday’s “60 Minutes” program, President Obama explained his decision not to release the photos, saying “we don’t need to spike the football.” Braley says the president’s top priority should be the security of American citizens at home and abroad.
“Based on how the President and his team have handled this very difficult and important challenge up to this point, we should have confidence in their judgment as they seek to provide the best outcome for those who are serving our country,” Braley said. White House officials says the president’s decision applies to all visual evidence of bin Laden’s death, including video of his burial at sea.
On Tuesday, Braley took part in a classified briefing about the operation that killed bin Laden. “We were not shown photographs or videos, but we were given very specific information about how the events unfolded and the incredible uncertainty, when the mission began , of how it was going to end,” Braley said.